Why parenting pets is harder than you think…but totally worth it

pets, pestering pets, dog, cat, family pet, fam frenzy
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I’m a sucker for baby animals and so are my children. They’re helpless and cute and soft and…the list could go on. However, I’m actually the the least “pets” person in our household (mainly because I’m left with the cleaning of poop and feeding of the furballs while everyone else gets to simply “enjoy” their presence).

Between my daily 6 a.m. walking of the dog and sanctimonious ritual of scooping cat poop out of the litter box much to our cat’s enjoyment, I realized something…I actually love these things. They are a part of our family that, even on the days where our lovable mixed breed brute of a pup eats trash then proceeds to get sick all over freshly vacuumed carpet, I wouldn’t trade for anything.

As a little back story, we have had a 75-pound reddish brown mutt for a little over two years. She’s giant but has no idea she’s giant, and that’s perhaps the cutest part of all. She jumps on everything, uses her tongue as a licking alarm clock, and is generally the sweetest thing you’ll ever meet. On the flip side, this gets annoying and she never learns her lesson as to what she should eat outside (or what she should NOT bring back inside).

In addition, my daughter tricked me into adopting a kitty last summer. She batted her eyelashes and the cat squinted with his baby blues, and I was sold. Now it’s the king of the castle, still improperly named “kitty”, and claws every piece of furniture it can find.

Yes, pets are WORTH IT. They really are. But they are even more difficult than raising children when they’re young. They can’t communicate as easily but, with time, they certainly do provide you with feelings of unconditional love. My dog is never upset when I leave her in the morning for work and our cat hardly cares that his tuna filet for lunch is never right on time. Pets gets the stress of life on humans, it feels like, and remain cool calm and collected (or is that from all the catnip?!).  

Maybe it was overwhelming at first, as I was dealing with raising two children in addition to #adulting myself plus moving into a new home…then on top of it I have two fur babies that look to me for support? It was a lot. I can count on one hand, okay fine maybe twice, the times I threatened to take them to the Humane Society or a nice farm where they could run and be free (and quit staining floors and scratching doors). But after two solid years of attempted training, I’ve given in. They’re stuck with me like the rest of my crazy, wonderful, beautiful family.

Seeing your seven-year-old lay on the couch with the family dog, using it as a pillow, is picture perfect. Watching your daughter play tea with her baby dolls and the cat, begrudgingly taking its tea with cream and sugar, is just the best. I enjoy the time I see our children playing with their pets as if they’re siblings.

As for me, yes they are one more thing to knock out on my “to do list” and they can even be quite expensive…but they’re worth it. If you can handle the stress, which modern day moms and dads I know you totally can, then pull the trigger and pick up the poop! They will become life long friends and family members you’ll treasure forever.

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